Satellites maximize the inherent value of 5G networks by solving coverage problems and difficult use-cases that ground-based infrastructure alone cannot address. 5G standards make Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) -including satellite segments – a recognized part of 5G connectivity infrastructure.
However, there is more work to be done to ensure that satellite systems are integrated as an intrinsic part of the 5G ecosystem. Intelsat, a leading provider of satellite communication services, is the chair of the ATIS Working Group (WG) focused on this integration.
The goal of the WG is to drive the creation of normative standards for satellite NTNs in 5G, by bringing together satellite operators and other organizations to develop and coordinate technical positions and create aligned contributions to advance support of NTNs in 3GPP.
The priorities and use cases will be driven by satellite operators needs while working with the terrestrial providers to ensure that mobile network operators and others can seamlessly and cost-effectively integrate with satellite systems. Technical recommendations for integration should consider the unique characteristics of satellite systems. The WG will generate aligned technical proposals between the satellite community and major terrestrial 3GPP ecosystem contributors. The ultimate goal is to ensure an end-to-end standard in the Release 17 timeframe.